Home | Sandy's Say

October 30, 2011

Sandy's Annual Pause

And here's a message from ace colunnist Sandy James.

Continue reading "Sandy's Annual Pause" »

October 16, 2011

Manchester's Chest

There was nothing great about her, as I recall,
Except her size, what with her bosom an' all.
She strained the scales at thirty stone..

Chuckle along with Sandy James as she recalls an engulfing great-aunt.

Continue reading "Manchester's Chest" »

October 09, 2011

Tutu Much

Why does Sandy James’s mum act like a warrior warring?

Continue reading "Tutu Much" »

October 02, 2011

Lest We Forget

...I should have stopped...I could have identified him...

Sandy James writes with great feeling about an incident which will forever haunt her.

Continue reading "Lest We Forget" »

September 25, 2011

Australian Place Names - No.5

Columnist Sandy James has a feast and a field day reinterpreting Australian place name.

Continue reading "Australian Place Names - No.5" »

September 18, 2011

Gone With The Wind

"Methanic men and wafting women of Australia be afraid, be very afraid,'' warns Sandy James in this breezy column.

Continue reading "Gone With The Wind" »

September 11, 2011

Quaint Arse

Sandy James's choice, chuckle-rich column reveals that there's more meanings than one to an acronym.

Continue reading "Quaint Arse" »

September 04, 2011

End Of An Era

...As an afterthought, I added, I hope that there are some ethics to go with this suave, new appearance. I don't want to be a grandmother too soon, you know…

Sandy James squares up to the realisation that her son is now a man.

Continue reading "End Of An Era" »

August 28, 2011

Resource Rage

...the landscape currently resembles Wales - all lush green rolling hills. Whilst I personally prefer this abundance, there is one person who is not so overjoyed. Film director, George Miller, is trying to shoot the fourth Mad Max movie in the desert near Broken Hill. Miller was hoping that the desert would dry out and brown off to resemble the required post-apocalyptic landscape but he has been forced to search for new locations...

Columnist Sandy James muses upon going to extremes.

Continue reading "Resource Rage" »

August 21, 2011

It's How You Finish

...I dribbled some custard down my chin. I saw Anthony watching me disapprovingly as I wiped it off with a paper napkin."Oops, perhaps I ought to have gone to a finishing school," I said, trying to hide my embarrassment.

"I think that a starting school might have been more appropriate, "came his disparaging reply...

Sandy James brings a gloriously funny column to brighten up your day, your week, your month...

Continue reading "It's How You Finish" »

August 14, 2011

Family Folklore

...Vincent's first faux pas involving forgetfulness occurred when he was trying to buy tickets for his family to travel on the Sydney to Manly ferry...

Star columnist Sandy James tells a cautionary tale of how old age stealthily creeps up on us.

Continue reading "Family Folklore" »

August 07, 2011

Proverbial Ponderings

"I was perusing multicultural proverbs, as one does, when I discovered that Australia is rather underrepresented in this department.'' writes Sandy James. "Here is my attempt to rectify this lamentable situation:

Continue reading "Proverbial Ponderings" »

July 31, 2011

Mental Pyjamas

"It is said that to be a good writer you should stay in your mental pyjamas all day. By this it is meant that your mind should remain flexible, freewheeling and unrestricted by traditional literary styles and grammatical parameters,'' says columnist Sandy James.

Continue reading "Mental Pyjamas" »

July 24, 2011

Futures Versus Options

Sandy James wonders if you've noticed that financial jargon can be applied with entertaining effect to marriage and adultery.

Continue reading "Futures Versus Options" »

July 18, 2011

Yuck Cha

"It makes me sad that Australia has such an inequitable schooling system. It is a national disgrace and tragedy that so many young people are prevented, or disengaged, from achieving their full potential in life. We will never be that "clever country" which ex Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, spoke of whilst we offer opportunities to a privileged few and reduce opportunities for others. Allowing private and selective schools to prosper at the expense of government comprehensive schools is blatant academic apartheid,'' declares columnist Sandy James.

Continue reading "Yuck Cha" »

July 10, 2011

E-Volvo-lution

"It felt like the severance of the last remnant of the umbilical cord. I watched my son, my only child, reverse the family car down the driveway and set off on his first, solo drive as a newly licensed driver. He wore a triumphant grin, scarcely able to believe the enormous amount of trust and responsibility which we (and the Roads and Traffic Authority) had finally granted him,'' writes ace columnist Sandy James.

For more of Sandy's delectable columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "E-Volvo-lution" »

July 03, 2011

Phosphorescence

...The irony of having a dog, which is so perfectly designed for the snow, living in sunburnt Australia is not lost on me but on this particular day his protection from the elements was about to prove a blessing. Ominous, black clouds suddenly blew in on an icy gale and within minutes large drops of rain were falling with increasing intensity, turning the dusty fire trail which we were now running on, into slippery clay...

In this superb column Sandy James tells of the day when a pet husky became a true guiding light.

Continue reading "Phosphorescence" »

June 26, 2011

Cross Cultural Confusion

So was it a doek, or a duck?

Sandy James tells how the language and dialect she grew up with led to confusion and loud chuckles in other countries.

Continue reading "Cross Cultural Confusion" »

June 19, 2011

Bless You

...Brigid was a single mum at our local school. She was a rather intense, aloof sort of person who always dressed in immaculate twin sets, pantihose and high heels, no matter how sweltering the Sydney weather. She tended to keep to herself so she was somewhat of an enigma...

And ace columnist Sandy James can now reveal Brigid's astonishing secret.

Continue reading "Bless You" »

June 12, 2011

Mrs Bagatini

...The store was his kingdom and he marched up and down the aisles, autocratically insisting on respect, rather than quietly earning it. He was secretly despised by his employees but most of them were dependent on him for their jobs so they were obliged to knuckle down and meekly submit to his tirades...

Columnist Sandy James tells the encouraging tale of a bullying man's come-uppance.

For more of Sandy's entertaining words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Mrs Bagatini" »

June 05, 2011

Why Would You Bother?

...Eyjafjallajokull, Reykjaneshryggur, Hromundartindur - I take one look at the names of these inconsiderate, globe stopping, Icelandic volcanoes and I just give up. If they are going to be audacious enough to disrupt our travel plans and make international news headlines then they could at least do the decent thing and have pronounceable names...

Ace columnist Sandy James takes us on an entertaining lexicological journey.

Continue reading "Why Would You Bother?" »

June 01, 2011

Speaking Strine

...Australian culture is generally renowned for its absence of a class structure and some areas are noted for their lack of class altogether. Whilst the former gives us freedom from pomposity and equal opportunity for all, the latter results in some fairly earthy and explicit sayings. So, if you are of delicate sensibilities then I suggest you cease reading about here...

Sandy James brings us an introductory lesson in that gloriously inventive and rebellious language - Strine.

Continue reading "Speaking Strine" »

May 22, 2011

Pure Poetry

...It would seem that the further north one travels in Australia the bigger the reputation the locals have for imbibing. Perhaps one can blame this on the extreme heat and total absence of alternative activities but, whatever the reason, there are definitely more 'judges' in these remote areas - i.e. people who are constantly called to the bar...

Sandy James introduces us to the world of grenades and throwdowns, longnecks and stubbies.

To read more of Sandy's intoxicating columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Pure Poetry" »

May 15, 2011

Chasing The Monarchy

...As soon as I learnt that the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was to be screened on a Friday night, local time, I doubted if I'd be watching it at all since it clashed head on with the weekly coverage of 'Friday Night Football'. But, to my surprise, the males in my family were prepared to briefly relinquish control of the television remote so long as we watched with a commentary which took a humorous slant on proceedings...

Sandy James tells of an Aussie TV take on a right-royal hitching cerermony.

Continue reading "Chasing The Monarchy" »

May 08, 2011

Australian Place Names - 4

...But Sandy does not Cedar Creek. It is not Innes View, and Sandy Falls, Wellard. Macks Flat on his face on The Rocks and he pulls up a bit Sorlie."I woona cared Butmaroo got awey," cries McDougall...

Sandy James has another heap of fun with Australian place names.

Continue reading "Australian Place Names - 4" »

May 01, 2011

Australian Place Names - 3

Sandy James goes hopping from one incredibly-named place to another in telling this tale which could only be written in Australia.

For more of Sandy's guaranteed-to-entertain columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Australian Place Names - 3" »

April 24, 2011

David Jones

..."Okay, 'he replied, trying now to pacify me. "How WAS your day yesterday?"

"Let me think "I answered."First I did the ironing and three loads of washing, then I raked up leaves on the pavement and then I walked the dog and came home to cook dinner."

"You see, "he said, "This is exactly why I don't ask you how your day was. I find it all rather underwhelming."...

There will be understanding smiles from mothers on every continent who read Sandy James's account of being thought daggy and a complete idot by a teenage son.

For more of Sandy's deliciously humorous coloumns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "David Jones" »

April 17, 2011

Leaf Blower Children

...The most emotionally neglected child of all was sad eyed Henry whose parents were extremely wealthy. When he was very young he used to arrive on a Monday morning still heavily sedated from the weekend. It was inconvenient for his party loving parents to have him bouncing around so they often resorted to the Phenergan bottle...

Sandy James tells of "unwanted'' children who are blown about like autumn leaves.

Continue reading "Leaf Blower Children" »

April 10, 2011

Out Of Africa

...Naturally, I had been unable to resist the temptation to respectfully meet and greet in Zulu and I had also been overheard translating the odd word or phrase for my son. So, by the time that we sat down in the hut, the" inkosi" or chief had his eye on me.

He turned to my husband and said solemnly," I will give you twenty head of cattle in exchange for your wife."...

Sandy James tells of the time when her cautious-accountant husband had to weigh an offer from a Zulu chief.

Continue reading "Out Of Africa" »

April 03, 2011

Australian Place Names - 2

Oh those Australian place names! Burnum, Bellangry, Berrambool, Urunga...

Sandy James presents another barrel-load of nomenclatural fun!

To read more of Sandy's effervescent columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Australian Place Names - 2" »

March 27, 2011

Beverage Psychology

"A beverage, or the act of making and taking someone a beverage, can have so many other connotations. When I was younger and still living in my parents' house, my father would bring me tea in bed each morning before he rushed off to work. There are those who would see this as a sign that I was spoilt but to me it came across as a loving, caring gesture,'' writes Sandy James.

But in In some cultures the making of coffee or tea is considered women's work and therefore it becomes a symbol of subservience and repression.

To read more of Sandy's superlative columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Beverage Psychology" »

March 20, 2011

Australian Place Names

What's in a name? Well if it's an Australian name there's the opportunity for some astonishing creative thinking, as Sandy James demonstrates. You could say there's the opportunity to create a whole new language.

Read, digest, be amazed!

Continue reading "Australian Place Names" »

March 13, 2011

Hey, Good Looking

…I find that in this family of mathematically inclined men (I married one and seem to have bred another) I have to fight to maintain my credibility and self esteem. Rather than compete on the numerical front, where I am clearly inferior, I choose instead to concentrate on my writing…

Sandy James brings us another deliciously chuckle-filled slice of life.

For more of Sandy’s entertaining columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Hey, Good Looking" »

March 06, 2011

An Australian Love Poem

Sandy James came across this amusing, if somewhat disparaging love poem on a website. I am replicating it here with kind permission of the man who runs the blog, Ric Raftis. The author of the poem is unknown but it does sound as if it originated in the mind of an authentic Aussie male and for some Australian women, this is as good as" romance" ever gets. I hope that it makes you chuckle.

Continue reading "An Australian Love Poem" »

February 27, 2011

Starve And Deprive

...The foul backpacks smelt as if they'd either been harbouring dead bodies or been peed on by passing wombats. The hastily bundled sleeping bags were growing so much mould in places that we could have shaved it off and smoked it had we been so inclined...

A big WELCOME BACK to ace columnnist Sandy James who brings a redolent account of the Thrive and Survive school camp.

Continue reading "Starve And Deprive" »

November 04, 2010

Sandy's Pause

Ace columnist Sandy James is takng a break from the writing game.

The good news for Open Writing readers is – SHE WILL BE BACK!

Continue reading "Sandy's Pause" »

October 28, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - 14

...Why does there have to be a clash between belief in a deity, spiritualism and science? Are they not all parts of the same holistic, deeply interconnected reality, all threads woven and vibrating on the same string?...

Sandy James concludes a fascinating series of articles about her spiritual experiences. Do read and re-read them. It could change your life! Click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - 14" »

October 21, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - 13

...This is the difficulty with spirituality - it is largely based on emotions and intuition and, as a result, is all too easily dismissed by the intellect as poppycock. There exists in the modern, Western world a sort of intellectual arrogance where rapid technological developments, based mostly on the physical sciences, have alienated man from his biological and spiritual roots....

Sandy James suggests that pre-cognition, intuition and spirituality are part of the natural order which has been eroded in today's increasingly frenetic world.

To read Sandy's astonishing and fulfilling story Lend Me Your Mind from the beginning please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - 13" »

October 14, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 12

...Suddenly I felt that unmistakable sense of presence and received a crackling instruction to look up. Luckily I listened, obeyed and lifted my head up just in time. We were passing two road signs. One read "Arthurstown" and the other read "Goldsborough". Even in those days, when I was not yet spiritually aware, I had an understanding that it was Arthur's way of saying both hello and goodbye.

He and Cynthia had lived in the village of Goldsborough in Yorkshire. It was too much of an eerie co-incidence for me to dismiss or forget...

Sandy James continues her unmissable account of pre-congitive powers and divine synchronicity.

To read earlier episode's of Sandy's unforgettable account of her experiences please visit
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 12" »

October 07, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 11

Sandy James, continuing her unmissable account of precongitive powers, makes new friends in Yorkshire.

To read the first ten parts of Sandy's story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 11" »

September 30, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 10

...This brings me to a question, several questions really, none of which I am sufficiently spiritually advanced to answer myself. Why is it that certain disasters trigger a spiritual communication in me and not others?...

Sandy James continues her account of precognitive abilities.

Sandy tells of receiving a "message'' on the day aeroplanes were flown into New York's World Trade Centre.

To read earlier episodes of this fascinating series please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 10" »

September 23, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 9

...for me, a telepathic message is very easy to discern from an ordinary mental thought as it is always accompanied by an electrostatic crackle in my right ear and a sense of a presence or a sudden vacuum on my left shoulder. I become aware of something interrupting the flow of air between my left ear and the rest of the environment...

Sandy James describes how she receives astonishing and sometimes disturbing clairaudient messages.

For earlier episodes in this brilliantly readable series of articles please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 9" »

September 16, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 8

...Spirituality is not to be confused with religion. It is not a faith or a belief. Spirituality is an undeniable, frequently reinforced experience which the intellectual, sceptical mind cannot rationalise away. The spirit is an energy within our physical body, poured through us, and within us, like the brandy on a Christmas pudding. Another name for this spiritual energy is "the soul" and anyone who has ever seen a dead body will agree that the soul is no longer present within the body after death. It is what we make of our soul and the extent to which we connect with it which determines the spiritual or non-spiritual person...

Sandy James suggests a logical explanation for spiritual experiences and premonitions.

To read earlier episodes of Sandy's compelling story please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 8" »

September 09, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part Seven

...when Pops sadly found out that he was dying of bone cancer, he made a pact with my mother and Mrs Kaye that if there was an afterlife, and he reached it, he would send them a code word. He took that code word from the world of stamps. The code word they agreed on was "Penny Black", the name of the world's first adhesive postage stamp, issued in 1840. Pops died in 1985.

"Pops," I beseeched him, "if you are out there, tonight is the time to come through with your "Penny Black". Please do it for me."...

Sandy James continues her astonishing not-to-be-missed account of coming to terms with remarkable abilities.

To read earlier episodes of Lend Me Your Mind and other columns by Sandy please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part Seven" »

September 02, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part 6

...Squirming with embarrassment and hoping that no-one had recognised me, I slunk in and enquired. It was surprisingly affordable, I had just the right amount of change in my wallet and Lorena was free right away. Feeling ridiculous, I made my way sceptically into the curtained off partition and sat down in front of a blonde woman who had remarkably swirling, grey eyes. This was going to be a test I decided, a test of authenticity and a challenge to those spiritual voices to prove to me once and for all that they were no figment of my imagination...

Sandy James, eager to understand her premonitions, consults a medium.

To read earlier episodes of Sandy's remarkable a vividly recounted experiences please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part 6" »

August 26, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part Five

...I had rarely experienced moments of déjà vu in my life previously but now I was receiving them three or four times a day. I would see a mental picture, somewhat like the replaying of a vivid dream and I would know what was about to happen next, as if I'd played out this scene somewhere before. It was happening with mundane things such as seeing, in advance, that when I reached a particular corner with the vacuum cleaner and lifted up the mat, the phone would ring, and it would, on cue...

The incidents of precognition, intuition and déjà vu were now frequently experienced by Sandy James.

To read earlier episodes of Sandy's compulisvely readable account of coming to terms with her astonishing abilities please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part Five" »

August 19, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind – Part Four

…The message itself did not initially make much sense.
"Sandra, this is Norah from Morecambe," was all that the telepathic voice said…

Sandy James continues her astonishing and compulsively readable personal experiences of receiving significant telepathic messages.

To read the first three episodes in this series please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind – Part Four" »

August 12, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part Three

I set up a family day care business and ended up with an average of five to seven children in my house every week day. The first toddler, whose parents were soldiers, would arrive, half asleep, on my doorstep at 7.30 am. The last child, whose mother was an air hostess, left at about 7.30 pm most evenings. Many of my charges were under two years of age and required an endless round of nappy changing and nose wiping. And the mess! By the end of each day my house resembled a shell-shocked Beirut.

For 20 years Sandy James was much too busy to experience any more mysterious incidents of precognition for almost twenty years.

To read the first two episodes of her astonishing story please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part Three" »

August 05, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part Two

...Before I could reply our game was disturbed by a knock at the front door. Seeing as I was the hired help and because I wasn't watching television I went to answer it. As I reached the hallway I was suddenly overcome by several weird sensations all at once. I stood stock still for a moment. Near my left shoulder I felt a clamping, icy blast accompanied by a sense of a vacuum in the air next to my left ear. An inexplicable rush of fear surged through me, my right ear began to crackle with static and a message was planted definitely and firmly in my brain, "Sandra, there has been a most terrible tragedy."...

Sandy James continues her gripping and disturbing account of precognition.

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part Two" »

July 29, 2010

Lend Me Your Mind - Part One

"Each person has his or her own awareness of life and its meaning. So, it is not for me to intrude but I do have an honest story of personal experience which is positively bursting to be told. I did not seek this story out. Against substantial odds, it came and found me,'' says Sandy James in this revealing and wonderfully readable column.

Continue reading "Lend Me Your Mind - Part One" »

July 22, 2010

Post Prime Crisis

...As the year moved on and the economy began to haemorrhage, so did I. I awoke one morning to this dreadful moaning sound. As I doubled over in excruciating pain, I realised that the sound was coming from me. I was teetering on the edge of default, threatening to be a shorter term investment than my husband had originally envisaged. I was rushed to hospital, put into one of those semi private gowns with a partial lookback option and given yet another scope. At this rate I was accumulating scopes faster than a fleet of German u-boats...

Sandy James vanquishes an "army'' of bodily assailants, producing a gloriously readable column to commemorate her victories.

Continue reading "Post Prime Crisis" »

July 15, 2010

Happily Ever After

Now what do you think occupies the thoughts of those ladies who are chinwagging indoors while their Aussie husbands tend the barbie?

Sandy James brings us another deliciously frank insight into life in the Lucky Country.

For more of Sandy's superlative columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Happily Ever After" »

July 08, 2010

Clothes Horse

...men appear to be in accordance with each other when it comes to the subject of women and clothes. To fellows there is no more redundant sort of clothing than sleepwear. Even seventy-eight year old Gwen from next door shyly confessed to me that her Stan still hides her nightie from time to time. While I found this a little tricky to envisage it did give me hope for the future....

Sandy James presents some entertaining thoughts on clothes - and why we wear 'em.

To read more of Sandy's intoxicating columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Clothes Horse" »

July 01, 2010

Bereft And Beleft

...Last week there were a string of household robberies in our street but our home, alone, remained untouched.

I suspect that the thieves peered through the window and thought that we'd already been robbed...

Sandy James confesses that neither she nor her husband are enthusiasts of the decorative arts.

To read more of Sandy's supremely enjoyable columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Bereft And Beleft" »

June 24, 2010

Kindergarten Logic

..."My dad keeps praying to God to make us rich,'' piped up Felix," but nothing has happened yet and Dad says that God must have bloody wax in his ears."...

Oh the things children say! Sandy James brings us choice samples of their wit and wisdom in this delicious column.

For more of Sandy's guaranteed-to-entertain words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Kindergarten Logic" »

June 17, 2010

Relative Meaning

...The naming of Zulu newborns is sometimes used as a lifelong rebuke to the poor, exhausted mother immediately after birth. Ntombizanele means "enough girls", which is fairly explicit. Simangele ("surprise") might be a name given to a daughter by her alleged father when, by his calculations, he had been away from the village working on the gold mines nine months previously...

Sandy James, the possessor of two Zulu names, recalls some of the unlikely lifetime "tags'' which parents have attached to their offspring.

To read more of Sandy's superb columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Relative Meaning" »

June 10, 2010

Accounting For Skiing

...I have lost all incentive to watch sport as the Australian football league players in tight shorts no longer have firm little buns. As for skiers, they are literally in your face, especially as the camera angles in on them from behind the start gates. It's not a good look and is a bit like being in front of distorting mirrors at the fun fair...

A new wide screen, plasma TV has brought a problem rather than delight to Sandy James's household,

For more of Sandy's good-humoured columns please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Accounting For Skiing" »

June 03, 2010

Hit And Run

...Men and boys, I have discovered, have a forty minute window for shopping and this includes twenty minutes at the end for a drink and a muffin. The snack is essential for regaining sufficient stamina to locate the car in the car park and prevents road rage when queuing behind the granny at the exit boom who has lost her ticket...

Delicious wordslady Sandy James highlights the gender differences in attitudes to shopping.

To enjoy more of Sandy's gloriously readable columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Hit And Run" »

May 27, 2010

Aptonyms

Do you know what an aptonym is? Can you tell us your pimp or hooker name?

In this serendipitously-worded column Topsy Prospect (otherwise known as Sandy James) explains all.

Continue reading "Aptonyms" »

May 20, 2010

Grief, Sex And Suicide

…Love is so imprinted with memories that certain places and things associated with the deceased unexpectedly bring up a well of emotions which ooze out from between the sutures of the healing wound. Life becomes weighed down by an agonised longing to simply push "restore" and return everything to how it was before..,

Sandy James's profound thoughts will resonate in your mind for days and weeks.

Continue reading "Grief, Sex And Suicide" »

May 13, 2010

Backyard Chucker

...It's all very well for these Australian dads to teach their sons the art of cricket and rugby at the weekend and then choof off to work during the week, leaving us mums as the sole, proxy teammate and coach. It's exhausting and extremely time consuming...

Sandy James spins the ball for her cricket-loving son.

To read more of Sandy's superbly entertaining columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Backyard Chucker" »

May 06, 2010

Getting Shirty

...This week I bought myself a woman's rugby jersey to add to my winter wardrobe. It was never meant to be authentic sports gear but simply a comfortable fashion item. With its pink and white horizontal stripes I thought it quite nifty, that is, until I put it on at home.

"Turn around, "grinned my son."Show Dad the number on your back."...

The message on the shirt can be hilariously indiscreet, as our laugh-out-loud columnist Sandy James reveals.

For more of Sandy's not-to-be-missed columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Getting Shirty" »

April 29, 2010

Down In The Dumps

…I heard Tim, the youngest, clumping down the corridor before I met him. He wore solid, supportive boots and he swung boisterously into the room and careered straight into his open toy box, throwing himself on top of it with a loud crash and giggles of delight…

When Sandy James arrived in London, hoping to stay for a year, she became nanny/housekeeper to a family coping with the stern task of looking after a Down’s syndrome child.

Continue reading "Down In The Dumps" »

April 22, 2010

Cut To The Chase

...It is often in the colloquial re-naming of places that Aussies create a clearer picture of the truth. There is an arterial road near us which leads into the city and in the map book it is called Epping Road. However, because it is narrow and half of it is a dedicated bus lane, it is notorious for being more like a jammed car park than a thoroughfare during peak hours. Those in the know have taken to warning other motorists by saying,”‘Whatever you do, don’t use the Effing Road.”...

Australians have a keenly humorous way of renaming places and people, as Sandy James reveals.

To read more of Sandy's columns, which can only be called supremely entertaining, please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Cut To The Chase" »

April 15, 2010

Dangerous Digging

...The computer age has made it so much easier and faster to delve wider and deeper into the family tree and occasionally I find myself searching on the internet. Mind you, I’d better not probe too far. The surname which my grandad chose to focus on and which runs thickly in my veins is ‘Sutcliffe’...

Sandy James finds rich material when she goes digging into her family's history.

To read more of Sandy's first class columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Dangerous Digging" »

April 07, 2010

Australian Customs

…The post mistress glanced at the photos and only made me feel worse when she remarked, over cheerily, “Oh well, there is some consolation in the fact that, in ten years time you’ll think that you look good in this photo.” I suspect that she had not been hired for her tactfulness…

Sandy James confirms that there’s no harsher reminder of the ageing process than a passport photo,

To read more of Sandy’s entertaining columns please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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April 01, 2010

Protection

...Physical protection, in our house, has always been my responsibility anyway. This is because my husband is a profoundly deep sleeper so, if there is a loud noise in the night, it is me who has to get up to investigate. Mind you, he may be an extreme case as he once slept through a murder which took place in the apartment block where he lived as a young bachelor...

Sometimes in a marriage it's the man who needs protecting, as Sandy James reveals in this seriously funny column.

For more of Sandy'shttp://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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March 25, 2010

African Cuisine

...Whenever the Mugabe motorcade comes down the street the soldiers drive ahead, brandishing AK47 rifles at anyone standing on the balconies, forcing them to move inside so that they cannot take a pot shot at Robert.,,

Sandy James tells of grim times in present-day Zimbabwe.

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March 18, 2010

Southern Exposure

...My son was secretly quite proud of the family patriarch but felt the need to hover at the base of each slide, like an anxious parent and physically pull his spluttering, tumbling grandad from the churning backwash. Grandad is not an overly proficient swimmer although he is currently having lessons. It’s never too late, even at seventy-eight...

The exhilirating Sandy James tells us of the wet and wild side of Aussie life.

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March 11, 2010

Everywoman

...When did you stop stealing a peek at my cleavage and prefer me to cover up?...

There's wit, wisdom and the the soundest possible advice on how to maintain a loving relationship in Sandy James's words.

Every man should read this column. And the many women who also read it will smile and nod as they associate themselves with every question

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March 04, 2010

Steamy Cricket

...“Hey, guys,” she piped up. “I’m off to a fancy dress Valentine’s Day party this evening. The theme is ‘Red Hot Fantasy. Dress to Seduce.’ What can I go as? Any ideas?”...

The conversation wanders along unexpected paths at the school cricket match, as Sandy James reveals.

To read more of Sandy's deliciously frank columns please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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February 25, 2010

Prophetic Mutiny

“At every opportunity I scribble away. Suddenly, to my family’s alarm, I am no longer so readily available. There have been repercussions of course and complaints that there are seldom homemade biscuits in the cookie jar. A year on and the family is still in denial. Neither of them is taking me seriously.’’

Sandy James finds that writing is liberating her underutilized intellect.

And what a brilliant writer she is! Sandy is now being read worldwide on the Net. Her articles are also appearing in a newspaper.

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February 18, 2010

An Australian Education

...“Gingivitis went home and told his mum that he’d watched a movie rated “Aghrr” and she got all upset because she thought that he meant ‘R’ which stands for ‘restricted’”. Gingivitis acquired his nickname because of his red hair but it serves too, I am told, as a warning about his tendency towards halitosis...

Sandy James takes us into the keen-humoured world of an Australian high school.

To read more of Sandy's zestful columns please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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February 11, 2010

Naming Rights

...We have ‘friendly fire’ which is anything but pally and ‘hostile takeover bids’ where there is not a weapon in sight. What happened to good old fashioned haggling, I’d like to know? Consumerism has taken the ‘Christ’ out of ‘Christmas’ and whilst I am eternally grateful for the dire warning of the ‘loo’ in ‘vindaloo’, there is definitely no ‘fun’ to be found in ‘fundamentalism’...

Sandy James draws attention to the misnaming of this, that and the other.

To read more of Sandy's scintillating columns please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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February 04, 2010

Perspective

...On this particular Saturday I had a more pressing concern on my mind as my parents were arriving from England the next day for a month long holiday.

“I’m going home to clean the oven,” I announced to the incredulous dads...

Sandy James's husband said “If she wants to clean the oven then you should just let her do it.”

But Sandy felt compelled to do some cleaning. It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

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January 28, 2010

Grave Matters

...It has struck me that the dead are just as compartmentalised and divided in the cemetery as they were in life. There is the Catholic Lawn, the Jewish Section, the Greek Orthodox Area, the Protestant Park, the Chinese Garden and the Italian Vaults – bodies separated into groupings of exclusive clubs based on culture, differing degrees of imposed guilt and determined by just which concept of a deity one was taught and indoctrinated about whilst one lived...

Sandy James considers terminal matters.

Don't miss this opportunity to read more of Sandy's columns. Click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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January 21, 2010

Barking Mad

…After several litters in quick succession the emaciated female Labrador resembled a drooping sack of pebbles. She began to lose the plot and she would rasp out her deep throated bark for hours on end, sometimes dueted by the male dog’s mournful howl. This would go on day and night..

Sandy James tells of being driven to the brink of insanity by noisy four-legged neighbours.

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January 14, 2010

It’s A Fin Line

…Suddenly my restful watch was shattered. A magma of hot fear rose up within me. I could clearly see the outline of a sharp fin advancing towards the swimmers and my own “boys” were first in line. Time seemed eerily suspended as if I was living one of those awful moments in the movie “Jaws”…

Sandy James says that though the beaches around Sydney are once again pristine the resurgent schools of fish have attracted their predators – sharks.

To read more of Sandy’s brilliant words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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January 07, 2010

It’s Spy In The Sky

So what was Sandy James's first thought when she saw the Google Mapping spyman.

“Oh my gosh, we didn’t mow the lawn this weekend and all the garbage bins are on the pavement today because it is collection day.”

Then she had to laugh at herself.

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December 31, 2009

Ringing True

…Part of their secret to a lasting, fun relationship seemed to be communication. At the dinner party, they were the two sparking witticisms off each other. At one point he even licked his forefinger and chalked up a notch in the air, a victory…

Sandy James ponders upon what it takes to keep a marriage ticking reliably.

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December 24, 2009

Husky Men

…Every dog, I thought to myself, should have a boy. What is so touching about their love for each other is that they both appreciate it right now, as they are living it, valuing what they have while it is still vital. Some people search their whole lives for such an intense, unconditional love and never find it. Others find it but only truly appreciate it once it is gone...

But a boy also needs a girl, and a loyal pet husky can also do its best to help in that endeavour as Sandy James reveals.

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December 17, 2009

Anyone For Pee-Pong?

Intrepid columnist Sandy James, daring to go where other writers (male or female) fear to tread, introduces us to a new game – Acid Rain.

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December 10, 2009

On A Wing And A Prayer

...Then there are the currawongs which are notorious for dive bombing unsuspecting pedestrians during the nesting season. Our beleaguered postman wears stegosaurus spikes on his motorbike helmet as a form of defence...

Sandy James, who was introdued to the compulsive attraction of bird watching by her loveable yet crazy Yorkshire grandad, now introduces us to Australia's colourful bird life.

To read more of Sandy's hugely entertaining columns please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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December 03, 2009

Half-Jobbers

...This is why Harry and his conspirators focus solely on the dishes in the sink and are selectively blind to all else in the kitchen. It is commonly referred to as ‘domestic blindness’ and it also accounts for the phenomenon where males cannot see what they are looking for even when it is directly in front of them in the cupboard. I have noticed however that they do seem to have an uncanny radar for finding biscuits, chocolates and beers no matter how carefully they are hidden...

The irrepressible Sandy James explains to peculiar yet predictable behaviour of the household male.

To read more of Sandy's entertaining columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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November 26, 2009

Clue-Doh

What’s in a name? Well for one thing there can be an all-too-obvious warning, and for another a huge plateful of embarrassment as Sandy James reveals after summoning the courage to announce the place of her birth.

To read more of Sandy’s delicious columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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November 19, 2009

Beauty - 2

...She remained perplexed however by the hole in the wall that spat out money. No matter how hard she tried she could not make banknotes magically appear as they seemed to do for the rich people. She became an avid user of the telephone but she drove my father scatty by shouting the whole way through her conversations. He did not understand that in Zulu culture it is considered rude to talk softly or whisper in case one is misconstrued as gossiping about someone who is present...

Sandy James tells of the sad end to the life of a Zulu called Beauty, who, although her appearance did not match her name, was an extraordianry and fiercly determined woman.

To read the first part, and other stories and articles by Sandy, please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Beauty - 2" »

November 12, 2009

Beauty - 1

Sandy James begins her account of a Zulu called Beauty, who, although her appearance did not match her name, was an extraordinary and fiercly determined woman.

The concluding part of this fascinating tale will appear in Open Writing next Thursday.

To read more of Sandy's words, including another memorable Zulu story, please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Beauty - 1" »

November 05, 2009

Busted

…Quite by accident I had discovered that there is an amazing window of opportunity in a child’s developing intellect before they even start school and the best way to stimulate this is by reading to them on a daily basis…

Sandy James extols the joys and benefits of reading aloud to a child. If only every youngster was lucky enough to have such a mother!

To read more of Sandy’s stimulating columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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October 29, 2009

The Housework Orange

…When I anxiously drove my son to school, every car, on or off the road, was the same colour – you guessed it - mud orange. All that we could see were faces peering out of the crescent shaped gaps where motorists had tried to scrape away sufficient dust by using their windscreen wipers…

Sandy James brings a colourful account – what else? – of the day when Sydney, Australia, turned orange.

For more of Sandy’s brilliant columns please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "The Housework Orange" »

October 22, 2009

Photoshop

…When is it exactly that one’s body goes from being an object of sexual attraction to being a fright? Nature is surreptitious at first but then she accelerates with alarming alacrity. She strikes with a cruel, double blow because just as we start shrivelling, drooping, expanding and forgetting, our children begin to enter their prime and blossom by growing taller, slimmer, firmer and smarter in an ‘in your face’ kind of way…

The inimitable Sandy James contemplates the ageing process with wry resignation.

To read more of Sandy’s superb columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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October 15, 2009

Zenith Beach

…Suddenly a brightly coloured bucket swirled up enticingly close to us. I stood up to retrieve it when our son, who was going through that fiercely independent stage, said, ‘No, me get it!” Suitably chastised, I watched as he toddled over to the bucket and lifted it up. I noticed in horror that it was full of stinging bluebottles - a type of nasty jellyfish. Before I could stop him he had tipped the whole lot over his body and he began to scream in sheer pain…

Sandy James tells of a crisis on Zenith Beach.

To read more of Sandy's entertaining columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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October 08, 2009

Whether Girls

...The skywriting planes around here don’t scribble, “Marry me Jane.” They are on a far more serious mission and write, “Pray for rain.”

On Sunday it was so hot that I felt like I was standing in front of a fan forced oven with the door open and nowhere to hide...

Sandy James is finding it difficult to remain upbeat and of a cheery disposition when everything around her Australian home is frizzled, fried and on fire.

To read more of Sandy's superlative columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

Continue reading "Whether Girls" »

October 01, 2009

Fatherly Love

...So dads, whether your children are into basketball or ballet, are six or sixty, spend time with them. Listen to their opinions, doubts and fears without mocking them because father does not always know best. Your children need to know in this turbulent world that you, at least, are on their side...

Sandy James offers this kindly advice to dads of all ages.

To read more of Sandy's columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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September 24, 2009

Let An Accountant In Your Life …

…I find that the contents of grocery cupboards and fridges are suddenly filed. The linen is magically neatened and folded by the same cupboard fairy. The dishwasher is permanently sensibly organized. The margarine is scraped in geometric lines, the hosepipe is arranged in perfect concentric circles, cereal packets are wedged down firmly and precisely and the bread and cheese are cut into militant rows…

In this utterly delicious column Sandy James tells what it is like to be married to a man with an orderly mind.

To read more of Sandy’s words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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September 17, 2009

Underdrive

...the next most important matter is grooming, not so much what you look like but rather what you smell like. Personally I like the smell of Brut Deodorant and no, they are not yet one of my sponsors. Women have much more sensitive olfactory senses than men. Even if a man steps out of a Lamborghini Countach he will get nowhere if he is unshaven and greets a woman with a wave of body odour and halitosis. If he has grubby toenails that resemble talons or a bed of blackheads in his ears a woman is guaranteed to notice and make a hasty retreat....

Sandy James offers some first class advice to men on what they should do to make themselves attractive to women.

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September 10, 2009

Saturday Sport

Sandy James tells of the “delights’’ of being the mother of a sporting son.

To read more of Sandy's brilliant columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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September 03, 2009

Pensioners’ Day

“I don’t have an ordinary leg of lamb today, Arthur,” the butcher said, “but I do have a rolled, deboned one instead. Would you like it?”

“No lad,” replied Arthur, “if I’ve learnt anything in seventy years of marriage it is that I’m not qualified to make such a decision.”

Good-humoured Sandy James finds that pensioners’ day in her local supermarket is more entertaining than you might expect.

To read more of Sandy's satisfying column please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/sandys_say/

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August 27, 2009

Handywoman

Sandy James wears a special outfit to persuade tradesmen to carry out household repairs for very little cash, and sometimes for free.

Interested Then do read on.

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August 20, 2009

Overdrive

Sandy James offers a first-class high-speed tip to ladies looking for a man. Don’t spend your money on clothes and grooming. Buy yourself… Ah, do read on to find out what.

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August 14, 2009

Cool Mum

…It seems that all I have to do is show up to be an automatic embarrassment to my son…

Our new columnist Sandy James brings delight with this very funny column about the joys of being the mum of a teenage son.

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August 07, 2009

Boniface

Sandy James introduces us to Boniface Magwaza, a Zulu-speaking store security guard.

Boniface is most certainly not as stupid as some folk think. He's a character you are going to love.

Settle down for a long, luxurious read.

We are delighted to announce that Sandy will regularly be contributing to Open Writing. Her first column appeaqrs next Friday.

Continue reading "Boniface" »

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